Guest Speak

6th April 2016 By Sharmila Tagore
I first visited Antara in September 2015. That we were going to a beautiful place, was clear to me. I had heard a lot about Antara.

On the flight to Dehradun, we experienced a fair amount of turbulence but we chatted nonchalantly pretending to ignore the buffeting the aircraft was getting. When we landed, the pilot told us that this was one of the more turbulent flights he had ever done and it made me even more keen to get to Antara!

I’m not a stranger to Dehradun; I made the film ‘Doosri Dulhan’ there with Shabana Azmi and Victor Banerjee, Victor later bought a house in Mussoorie and has lived there for many years. I returned several times over the years-sometimes with my husband, who was chief guest at several events and functions. We have several friends in charming houses dotting the valley and I even had an association with Dr AK Singh who is now based out of the Max Hospital in Dehradun when he treated me for an ailment in the past- he was so knowledgeable and not driven by commerce. All these experiences led me to really liking Dehradun.

The first time I went to Antara, I was struck by the beauty of its location. Perched high above the Tons River with the purple hills of the Himalayas in the distance, banks of trees everywhere, this was a very pretty location indeed. Antara is also extremely well-planned with walking paths, golf carts, spaces that I believe will eventually be just right without being ostentatious or garish. The colour palettes they have used are lovely along with their attention to detail on lighting, curved edges, acoustics – all these are things I notice as I am sure others do too. The food we ate was light and delicious and served impeccably by extremely well-trained staff. It is this very staff that will look after residents once they start moving into Antara.

To live in a community that is culturally and socially matched is a blessing and I can see this will happen at Antara. I can see many pluses of living here; not being cut off, having a full life, volunteering at an NGO and yet having all the privacy one needs. One cannot discount things like these. I can completely and utterly understand people wanting to draw away from the rat race, yet lead a full life at Antara.

Before I end, I have a word of praise-first for the superb team at Antara, and second for Tara for her wonderful leadership qualities, of her commitment and practical approach to problems. I have seen her treat people older than her with utmost respect and this, perhaps, is the leitmotif, the very DNA of Antara and, really, nothing could be better than that.

About Sharmila Tagore

Mrs. Sharmila Tagore is one of the most admired actresses of the Indian Film Industry. After starting her film career in 1957, there was no looking back for the talented actress – and accolades like National Film Awards and Filmfare awards are a testimony to her unmatched screen performances. She is UNICEF’s goodwill ambassador in the causes of HIV/AIDS along with supporting multiple socio-cultural and community projects and was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2013.

18th December 2015 Beautiful people, beautiful spaces, beautiful moments (Show more)
When I think of Antara Dehradun in splendid full-service operation about a year from today, I see in my mind’s eye beautiful people in beautifully conceived and realized spaces, enjoying beautiful moments with each other. I see a place where architecture and natural heritage blend, where Antara’s spirit of caring nurtures life and happiness.

By beautiful people I don’t mean the genetically advantaged, surgically enhanced or expensively coiffed and coutured. The people I’m thinking of are best described by path-breaking Swiss-American psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ (1926-2004) insightful words: “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity and understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern.”

When imagining Antara’s residents, I unfailingly see wonderful, wise, kind people with many God-given gifts and much love to offer each other and any one who spends time with them. I see compassionate, gentle and energetic people of wide experience and distinction living together in mutual appreciation, harmony and joy.

The relationship between human beings and the spaces we occupy is profound and far-reaching. It shapes the way we think, speak and act; how happy we are; how healthy we are; how long we live and what contribution we make to our planet. It takes a rare, one in many millions person like Nelson Mandela to go through 26 years of incarceration and emerge the giant he was; most of us would handle that sentence rather less well. A child sent to a school that insists on the memorizing of text may grow up less well prepared for the world than the one from the house next door who goes to a school that encourages creativity and thinking. We humans respond exponentially to great environments, in every aspect of our personalities. This is why I’m so excited by Antara’s conceptual, architectural and execution brilliance in creating so many charming and uplifting spaces for the community to thrive in, both in private and with each other. I’m looking forward to the residents enjoying these spaces in the ways they are intended and in new ways they invent. I’m looking forward, with a twinkle in my eye, to being surprised and delighted.

When wonderful people and inspiring spaces come together, can memorable, life-affirming moments be far behind? There are few boundaries – age the least of them - to what we can achieve and enjoy when the conditions are right. And they have never been more right than at Antara, in every sense of the word. I imagine moments of heart-warming celebration at a birthday or anniversary with family and friends; a Newtonian epiphany in the cherry orchard, conversations that solve the problems of the world inspired by a view of the mountains or the divine pleasure of a favourite book while cosily curled in the corner of the library.

About Bharat

Bharat Bambawale is Founder & Principal of Bharat Bambawale & Associates, a brand and marketing strategy consultancy that helps brands navigate a path to success through the use of communication, innovation and technology. In a career of over 30 years, 18 of which were spent overseas based in Dubai, Bangkok and London, Bharat has been at the helm of many a global, regional and national brand. He is considered by his clients and industry observers to be one of the leading thinkers and practitioners of his craft in India. Over the past year, Bharat has been advising Antara's leadership team on marketing and communication strategy and implementation which has given him a ring side seat to Antara's progress to completion.

Our Guest Speak column showcases blogs as a reflection on Antara, from accomplished individuals from all walks of life. Read their most prolific thoughts on senior living with the philosophy of ‘Age just being a number’.